By Brian Webber: Kubrat Pulev chooses Oleksandr Usyk to eliminate Anthony Joshua in their August 20 rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Former world heavyweight title challenger Pulev (29-2, 14 KOs) says he thinks former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) is not so good, and Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) will do a number on them when they meet in two months.
Pulev, 41, blames his ninth-round knockout loss to Joshua in December 2020 for not being as prepared as he should have been for this fight.
Joshua will lose again
There were periods during the fight where you could see Pulev had a chance to win, but he missed it by not adapting after Joshua started hitting him with uppercuts.
Pulev is a 13-year-old pro, and he knows how to neutralize an uppercut, but against Joshua he failed to make the changes he needed to take that weapon away from him.
“Rematch, Derek Chisora - Kubrat Pulev 2,” Pulev told iFL TV. “When he needed a rematch, I gave it to him. I love London, I love England, good people, smart, open, good people. I like talking to people like that. When he needed revenge, why not?
“When they make a revenge, I think Usyk will knock him out because Joshua is nothing special,” Pulev said when asked for his prediction for Anthony Joshua’s rematch against Oleksandr Usyk in August.
“I lost to him, but I was not well prepared. It’s my mistake, of course. It’s my fault, but that was the situation. Now I am full of power and energy. Health is the most important,” Pulev said.
If Pulev is right on his prediction of Usyk stopping AJ then it could be over for Joshua as it would be his third defeat in his last five fights for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from England.
With Joshua’s ego, it will be difficult to take yet another defeat, including a knockout. If Joshua chooses to pursue his career, it would be a good idea for his promoter Eddie Hearn to put him with someone like Pulev as a confidence builder to get him used to winning again.
Pulev gives Chisora a rematch
“Not that much,” Pulev said when told his first fight was several years ago. “A few years . It was a bit too much of a show,” Kubrat said of weighing in with Chisora six years ago.
“You know Derek, he likes it, and I like it too, no problem.” Maybe now something is happening. I have a few fights and they give me more experience,” said Pulev.
Kubrat says he is fighting the 38-year-old Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) again for trade because Derek wants the rematch, and he was offered the fight with the struggling British fighter.
It’s a nice gesture that Pulev throws Chisora a bone because he needs a real boost now that his career has taken a turn after his recent losing streak.
Six years ago, Pulev soundly beat Chisora by a 12-round split decision in Hamburg, Germany. It was a one-sided affair, with the 6’5″ Pulev hitting Chisora from long range and wrapping him in a clinch every time he made his way inside.
Many Chisora boxing fans felt he did enough to earn a win over Pulev, but it didn’t come close. This writer had Pulev win 10-2 in rounds, and you can even argue that 11-1 would have made sense.
Derek looks dejected
Chisora’s career evaporated recently, losing his last three fights to Joseph Parker and Oleksandr Usyk. These are fighters who are way out of his class, and he had nothing to do with guys like that.
Chisora’s promoter Eddie Hearn thinks he has a chance against Pulev, but he makes a mistake. Pulev is also out of the league for Chisora, especially with Delboy’s stamina getting so bad over the past two years.
Chisora looked exhausted in his last two fights against Parker, and it was worrying to see him gasping for air, like he needed oxygen.
“I feel after every fight I get more experience and better and better,” Kubrat said when asked if he thought the rematch with Chisora would be different from the first fight.
“Because I am preparing for two or three months in the USA for my last fight. Derek and Jerry Forrest, my previous opponent, it’s the same style. I’m ready and prepared, I’ve done a lot of sparring and I’m already in the training process. I’m ready. Why not?
“I said that after every fight, won or lost, I [learn] a lot of things, and it’s more and more experience,” Pulev said of how he learned from his recent ninth-round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in December 2020.
Pulev wants to win a world title
“After every fight, I am different. Only [to win a] world heavyweight title, that’s it,” Kubrat said when asked what goal he has left in his career. “Yes,” when asked if he thinks he can win a world heavyweight title.
Pulev is unlikely to win a world title at this stage as he has lost a lot in his game and there is no one poor enough to beat him.
Pulev would have had a great chance of defeating WBA “regular” champion Trevor Bryan had he been given a chance against the vulnerable belt holder, but it’s too late now.
Bryan is fighting Daniel Dubois tonight in Miami, and he’s probably going to lose that fight. Pulev won’t beat a talent like Dubois and, of course, he won’t beat Joshua, Usyk or Tyson Fury.
“Now I’m No. 10 at Boxrec in the heavyweight division, and Chisora is No. 6,” Pulev said. “Fight. It’s interesting. Good fights,” Pulev said of Chisora’s recent fights against Joseph Parker and Oleksandr Usyk.
“Derek is still the same. He does not do [learn] nothing too much. It’s the same every time. It doesn’t change anything. He is a good and dangerous fighter, but you have to create something new.
“You have to learn something and do something different. Maybe that’s why he lost his last three fights, but he’s also not afraid and he fights with the best. That’s why he lost.
“Just business,” Pulev said when asked if it was personal or professional for him in his rematch with Chisora. “It’s sport. When he wants, I’m ready. I train for two or three months, then another month. I’m in great shape now.
“Why not?” said Pulev when asked if he thought he would knock out Chisora on July 9. “I love London, and it’s going to be an interesting fight.
“I’m always friendly with everyone, but if someone wants something, I give it to them. These are Kubrat Pulev’s rules. When someone wants something, give it to them,” Pulev said.